The defense started strong as the two teams traded punches to feel each other out and both the Seminoles and the Wolfpack were slow to start out on offense. Playing sound, the ‘Noles were still without Fabian Lovett on the inside and tackle Robert Cooper went down early opening up a hole that was repeatedly stopped until the final contested drives of the game.
The Wolfpack ran hard to try and set their feet but ended their first drive with a field goal and through the opening quarter, the game proved to be a defensive parlay.
On offense, Jordan Travis found Ontaria Wilson with a huge chunk play but could not finish out with points to end the first quarter. Linebacker Kalen DeLoach has emerged as an asset on defense this season, and he paired with Jared Verse. helped the defense hold strong only allowing one completion in six attempts for Devin Leary.
Travis kickstarted FSU’s offense with a massive 71-yard run followed by a thrilling throw to wide receiver Mycah Pittman. The point after was good by kicker Ryan Fitzgerald to give the ‘Noles the lead 7-3.
Running back Treshaun Ward rattled off a 39-yard run but left the game with an injury and would not return seemingly having an issue with his forearm and elbow.
Newcomer Patrick Payton has shined in recent weeks and did so on Saturday. Strong play in the backfield by the lineman paired with an interception by defensive back Jammie Robinson landed the offense at the 28-yard line and they took advantage of the Wolfpack defenders cheating at the line of scrimmage. Running back Trey Benson was able to find a crease for a 26-yard gain and wide receiver Johnny Wilson opened up the Pack’s defense followed by a 12-yard run from running back Lawrence Toafili giving the ‘Noles their second score of the night.
Pokey Wilson has proved himself to be a reliable target throughout his time at FSU and showed it with a startling return that flipped the momentum back in his team’s favor.
Closing out the half, Florida State went into the locker room with the lead 17-3 topped off with a 47-yard field goal from kicker Ryan Fitzgerald who has been struggling recently.
NC State went on to score on their opening drive in the third quarter and FSU was unable to respond going three and out ending with a dropped pass from J. Wilson. The Wolfpack would do the same punting after an incomplete catch.
Defensive tackle Joshua Farmer and NC State quarterback Devin Leary had a collision that ended in a penalty for FSU and also took Leary out of the game.
The run game for the Wolfpack eventually became a difference maker, as FSU penalties aided another score against the ‘Noles. Linebacker Tatum Bethune and the defense played with heart, but lack of execution from the offense took its toll on the team and they were unable to finish at the end of the game.
Turnovers plagued the offense and coming off a decidedly dominant second half last week, the Seminoles were unable to get their run game going towards the end eventually falling to the current No. 14 team.
FSU 17, NC State 19
Passing - Jordan Travis (15-30 for 181-yards, one touchdown.)
Rushing - Jordan Travis (seven rushes for 108 yards)
Defense - Tatum Bethune (14 tackles, 2.5 TFL, seven solo)